Second Renewable Energy Zone for NSW
LONDON: The New South Wales Government has announced a $79 million plan to develop an 8,000MW Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) in New England, the second in the region. While, government and local industry have largely welcomed the move, the Australian Energy Council (AEC) has warned that the benefits of this REZ need to be more closely examined. New South Wales Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, said the state government was forging ahead with its plans to deliver new energy infrastructure that will lower electricity bills, create jobs, and make regional New South Wales the home of renewable energy investment. “The New England REZ is expected to attract $12.7 billion in investment, support 2,000 construction jobs and 1,300 ongoing jobs – all while lowering energy prices and future-proofing the regions,” Mr Barilaro said. “Regional New South Wales is the best place in Australia for renewable energy investment and the jobs it creates, and this funding allows us to unlock that potential.” NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean said the massive 8,000 MW New England REZ was the biggest commitment to cheap, clean energy in the state’s history. The move follows the results of the Clean Energy Council’s latest Clean Energy Outlook – Confidence Index, which showed NSW ranked first of the states and territories when it comes to investor confidence, scoring 7.3 out of 10 at the end of June 2020, up from 6.5 at the end of 2019.